As the great Nina Simone said, “Jazz is not just music, it is a way of life, it is a way of being, a way of thinking”. For any jazz lover, this best describes what Safaricom International Jazz Festival has become since its inception six years ago. It has become a must attend event in Nairobi providing great music, great energy and great company all around. Its capability to bring together a diverse group of individuals for one common purpose – the love of jazz cannot be underestimated.
On a very beautiful afternoon on May 1st, Nairobi came alive with good vibes at Carnivore grounds for the 6th edition of Safaricom International Jazz Festival celebrating African Jazz and coinciding with International Jazz day which is held every year on 30th April. This year, World music and jazz fusion drummer, Paco Sery from Cote d’Ivoire and Maliain musician, arranger and composer, Cheick Tidiane Seck headlined the event.
The show also featured supporting performances from Mandla Mlangeni and the Tune Creation Committee (South Africa), Sylwester Ostrowski & The Jazz Brigade ft. Freddie Hendrix (Poland & USA) and celebrated Kenyan jazz acts Nairobi Horns Project, Shamsi Music, Jacob & Kavutha Asiyo, Kato & The Change Band and the Ghetto Classics. The air was filled with beautiful happy jazz fans, celebrating African Jazz.
Since its inception in February 2014, the Safaricom International Jazz Festival has evolved into an unmissable celebration of live music. All proceeds go towards supporting Ghetto Classics, a non-profit, community-based programme that seeks to transform the lives of youth from underprivileged backgrounds by introducing them to the world of live jazz and classical music. And that’s what makes Safaricom Jazz special: it is music that moves.
“Jazz washes away the dust of every day life,” Art Blakey.
(Photo credits –Kevin Tosh/ @kevin_tosh)